Alex at home, studying.
(A2A) Donald Michael Kraig’s “Modern Magick” was my first serious book on practical occultism as well. It is an ideal book for beginners because (a) it contains a lot of suitable material to get you started; and more importantly (b) it also has an extensive bibliography which will clue you in as to where to go and what to read to pursue your studies further.
Other books I generally recommend:
(Even more advanced):
“The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation” (H D Betz), “Transcendental Magic – its Dogma and Ritual” (Eliphas Levi), “Light on Yoga” (BKS Iyengar), other books by Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, Crowley, S L MacGregor Mathers, primary texts on Adam McLean’s Alchemy website / Joseph H Peterson’s website, etc, etc, etc.
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What is your source of occult information? – Quora
Donald Michael Kraig, 1951 – 2014
I note with sadness that the occultist and author Donald Michael Kraig has today postponed those spiritual activities which require the use of a physical body. I would like to add my own tribute to the many others which I’m sure will be expressed throughout the occult community – for I am one of the many practitioners who was originally inspired by his seminal book, Modern Magick.
It was back in 1995, getting on for nineteen years ago, that one of the first books I picked up on the subject of the occult was Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons In the High Magickal Arts (as the then current edition was titled). At the time I had not practiced any occult rituals whatsoever, so I boldly decided to have a go at working my way through the book starting with page one. The first ritual I came to was a simple relaxation exercise, involving visualising a ball of energy moving up one’s body.
The results amazed me: it was unlike anything I had experienced before. Before attempting this exercise I had had no idea that the combination of will + visualisation could produce an effect which could be physically felt – and that powerfully too. I became instantly convinced of this basic truth – that Magic is Real – and all because of reading Kraig’s book!
Modern Magick is therefore an excellent beginner’s book which I would highly recommend. I say “beginner’s” book because, after long consideration, I decided that my magical path lay not in Kraig’s book per ser, but in the many sources he cited in its bibliography. Mind you, the fact that he did provide a comprehensive bibliography was itself an invaluable aid to my magical quest.
One other thing of his which I enjoyed and I would recommend to others is an essay he wrote for The Magical Pantheons: A Golden Dawn Journal (Bk.4), entitled “Do the Gods Exist?” in which he spun a clever argument based on Existentialist philosophy that basically said Yes, i.e. we are entitled to assume that They do exist, based on the practical results which are achievable through the practice of Magick.
My condolences go to his wife Holly and all his family.
Every once in a while, I come across someone who claims that Dion Fortune once said that Magick consisted of causing Willed Changes in consciousness. I personally have two problems with this, to wit:
Firstly, every time I challenge the person saying so to quote where Dion Fortune actually said this, I don’t get an answer. I have read just about all of Dion’s books, and I have never seen the quote myself, so I am wondering if this is not just an urban myth along the lines of the Jesus=Horus story, or the Third Vatican Council meme. As far as I’m aware, Donald Michael Kraig first made the claim in Modern Magick, and the story has taken off from there.
Secondly, and more importantly, even if it is true, what a lot of people do not get is that it certainly does not mean that Magick only takes place in the imagination and nowhere else – and Dion Fortune would certainly have never claimed such a thing herself. How do I know this? Because it is on record that Dion Fortune was a firm believer in telepathy. Hence, Dion would be of the opinion that if you make the right change in consciousness, this would lead, via a process similar to telepathy, to objective results in the world at large. This was essentially her rationale for such magickal workings as those described in (e.g.) The Magical Battle of Britain.
Hence, beware someone claiming that magick is “all in your head,” or words to that effect. It’s neither “all in your head,” nor is it “all in your head.” I personally have seen enough freaky coincidences to have my own evidence of its objectivity.